A survey conducted for the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium at the state fair last year revealed that a majority of qualified respondents approved of the use of recycled produced water. Results of the random survey were reported by Deborah Dixon of the consortium at a recent meeting of the New Mexico Desalination Association. The consortium is studying the use of produced water in New Mexico to support economic development, effectiveness and safety of treatment technologies, and options and applications for reusing treated produced water. “There is a good deal of oil and gas terminology misinterpretation,” Dixon said. “The public is rightly concerned about this subject. The consortium is responsible for engaging in public outreach that will improve public understanding of produced water treatment research and expected impacts to public and environmental health and safety.”
Dixon said two-thirds of the 115 qualified respondents agreed to use of recycled produced water for oil and gas operations and for agricultural use. Sixty-six would accept its use for other industrial purposes, and 51 supported its use as a supplemental source of drinking water. Three-fourths supported reusing produced water that was treated to safe standards during water shortages and drought. Fifteen respondents said they would not support reuse of treated produced water for any purpose outside of oil and gas operations.